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Although their dating relationship may have had its ups and downs, I can guarantee that Kristen and Ryan’s gorgeous wedding day had to be one of their biggest ups! Their caterer, Design Cuisine, and planner, our Blue Ribbon Vendors Events in the City, combined their talents to create an incredible al fresco dinner vibe with a Southern twist. I’m sure guests were equally as taken by the gorgeous view at George Washington’s River Farm as they were by the sweet vows K + R spoke. The peek into their vows they shared makes my eyes tear right up: “I take you, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect to your integrity, honesty, and faith in your abiding love for me through all of our years, and in all that life may bring us.” Am I right?

We’re so glad Abby Jiu was on hand to capture this lovely day!

It was important to us that our flowers were locally sourced and in season, so we chose our florist accordingly. The floral designers used roses, peonies, ranunculus, and eucalyptus in a neutral palette consisting of white, ivory, peach, champagne, light pink, and green. The flowers and arrangements were stunning and one of my favorite details from the day!

Before getting engaged, I had never thought of what my wedding dress would look like, but I knew if a dress drew emotion, it would be the right one. My mom, sister, and I visited a few bridal salons and found some great dresses, but we always left with the desire to see a few more. One day, my mom and I were in a local bridal shop, and instead of looking for dresses within our price range, we decided that I would just try on anything I liked, just for fun. I guess one would say that was a big mistake because I tried on a full lace Rivini dress that stunned both of us. As soon as I walked out of the dressing room, my mom started crying, and after spinning in the dress for a few minutes, I did not want to take it off. My mom and I both knew this was the dress. My grandfather had passed away a few years earlier and left some money to my mom, and since the dress was outside of our price range, my mom graciously told me she wanted to use the money from Grandpa toward the dress. Knowing that my grandpa would be a part of my special day in this unique way was the icing on the cake.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look, and we are so happy we did. With all of the planning we put into the big day, and having guests who traveled from near and far, we wanted to maximize the time we were able to spend with everyone. One thing we had not taken into account was how nervous we would both be to see each other before the ceremony! The first look allowed us to get rid of those jitters and be fully present during our vows. After the first look, we enjoyed being tucked away with our bridal party to watch our guests arrive and share a few laughs, and having the extra time during the cocktail hour to chat and take photos with our guests was wonderful.

One of the most meaningful details of our wedding was the cross that was placed behind our officiant at the ceremony. Our best friends (a bridesmaid and groomsman in our wedding) built the cross by hand for their wedding, one year before ours. We loved that we were able to not only incorporate this symbol of our faith into our ceremony, but we also loved all of the love that was poured into making it. One of our groomsmen helped with transporting the cross, and our florist and planner spruced it up with local flowers. We loved how it came together!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our planner and caterer created an incredible al fresco dinner vibe with a Southern twist. Our guests were greeted at the ceremony location with lemonade and cucumber water followed by vodka thyme lemonade and blood orange mojitos to kick off the reception. Passed hors d’oeuvres included pulled pork waffles, crab cakes with white salsa, baby short rib sliders, and sea bass ceviche followed by a three-course meal, featuring an heirloom tomato mosaic, icebox fried chicken, and cheddar and stilton buttermilk drop biscuits. Along with serving wedding cake, we offered our guest a variety of homemade popsicles and late night snacks. The decor also complemented the Southern vibe, as we rented wooden farm tables, antique china, and various vintage centerpiece vases.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Once we decided to hold our wedding closer to home, we wanted to find a location and venue that encompassed a few of our favorite things. We love the outdoors and the water, and feel very fortunate to have grown up in a place with so much history. Overlooking the Potomac River, with gorgeous grounds owned and maintained by the American Horticultural Society, River Farm became the perfect spot for our ceremony and reception. Our guests stayed in nearby Old Town Alexandria and then were transported to one of George Washington’s farm houses, just down the street from Mount Vernon.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our most memorable moments from our wedding day would be standing in front of our family and friends as we said our vows, followed by the incredible speeches at our reception. Our best man coordinated a song with the groomsmen that will be talked about for years to come! Our DJ brought down the house, and we closed out the night by serving late night snacks of pizza rolls made using a recipe from a pizza shop in our college town.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ryan and I met in college through mutual friends, and we instantly became great friends. After college, we acknowledged our feelings for each other and began dating. After dating for a year, I broke up with Ryan out of the blue, as I was not ready to start thinking about taking our relationship to the next level. Two years later, Ryan and I reconnected and things felt just like they always had, but this time, we both had a little more life experience under our belts. We maintained our close friendship for another few years, with the premise that if we did decide to date again, it would be forever and not just to explore the world of dating. Ryan had always told me that he knew he would marry me from the moment we met, and through all of our ups and downs, he stood by his word. The peace that Ryan gave me through our friendship and relationship is what ultimately led me to seeing and acknowledging that I would be the luckiest girl in the world to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. Once I realized this, I barely had to say anything to Ryan because he just knew that my heart was ready, and we were both on the same page and excited for a future together!
Tell us all about the proposal! Our birthdays are just a few days apart, so we decided to plan a fun trip to the Northern California coast to celebrate. A few days into our trip, while we were in Sonoma, I mentioned that I wanted to see the coast, so we made our way to a public park that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. When we arrived, I jumped out of the car to snap a few photos, while Ryan drove ahead to turn the car around. He circled back to pick me up and told me we had to keep driving a little bit farther, as it looked like the views ahead were even better. As we parked the car, he started to get out to take some pictures, but I told him I was going to stay in the car because it was little too cold for me outside. Through minor bribery, he convinced me to get out of the car for a few photos. We walked to the cliff edge and just stood there taking it all in. Ryan stepped away to take a few more pictures, and as I turned around to join him, he was down on one knee. I was speechless as he asked me to marry him with the most gorgeous ring, in a box monogrammed with my new initials. Before we left this special spot, with no one else around, we placed the camera on the roof of the car and took a few pictures of us in this magical and memorable spot. We didn’t have cell phone reception for the next hour as we began our drive from Sonoma to Monterey, so we couldn’t call our family right away. It was a special time to talk, laugh, and smile together and really soak up the moment.
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? My uncle is a devout Christian, and we felt his leadership and importance to us would be the perfect fit for the officiant role. The three of us worked together to customize the traditional ceremony where applicable and appropriate, and we were thrilled with how it came together. Our favorite phrase of the ceremony was in our vows, which said, “I take you, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect to your integrity, honesty, and faith in your abiding love for me through all of our years, and in all that life may bring us.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I chose to walk down the aisle with my dad to “Canon in D.” On a family trip once, my dad and I were walking over the Charles Bridge in Prague when we heard “Canon in D” playing softly in the background. As we looked around, there was a bride and groom all dressed up being photographed. At the sight, both my dad and I got tears in our eyes, so walking down the aisle to the same song felt symbolic and memorable. Our first dance was to “At Last” by Beyonce. We love that it is a classic song with a modern twist.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our best advice would be to stay true to who you are as a couple and your vision for your special day. It is really important to determine your guest count and budget up front and to accept that it may not be possible to have it all, but everything will still turn out beautifully! Try your best to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing, and enjoy all of the perks of planning. And most importantly, plan for a massage and a long nap in the days after the wedding!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We love calling each other “husband” and “wife!” We just built and moved into a new home, so we are diving headfirst into design and house projects. We look forward to traveling and enjoying time together, just the two of us, before we begin to expand our family. We are also trying to think of clever ways to relive our magical wedding day over and over again.

Photographer: Abby Jiu / Planner: Laura Ritchie of Events in the City / Venue: George Washington’s River Farm / Florist: Sweet Root Village / Cake Baker, Catering, and Rentals: Design Cuisine / DJ: DJ Lauren Bobby / Paper Products: Fig 2 Designs / Bride’s Gown: Rivini / Bride’s Accessories: Nordstrom / Hair Stylist: Laura Gibson of Urban Style Lab / Makeup Artist: Erin Findley / Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff / Menswear: Alfani / String Quartet: Sage String Quartet / Transportation: Keller Transportation / Dress Alterations: Tangs Alterations / Hotel: Hotel Monaco Alexandria

Events in the City and Sweet Root Village are delightful members of the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Feature: River Farm Wedding on Southern Weddings reply

    […] So many gorgeous elements and you can view more on our blog here. So grateful for the feature on Southern Weddings with other talents like Events in the City and Abby Jiu! Enjoy the beautiful photos and get […]

  2. avatar Ashleigh reply

    Yay, Highlanders! Such a gorgeous wedding!

  3. avatar Manglik Girls reply

    Lots and lots of love and wishes on your wedding; God made both of you for one another.

  4. avatar Happy Weekend // Around The Web | Coastal Bride reply

    […] wedding featuring a rose bar? Yes […]

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I think that all weddings are filled with joy (as they should be!), but sometimes, we feature weddings of couples so bubbling over with joy, one can’t help but smile while looking through the photos! That’s how I feel about Caroline and Will. I swear, Caroline has the biggest, most contagious smile in almost every photo Robyn Van Dyke captured! After years of long distance dating, deployments, and many moves, it’s no wonder these two are all smiles on their wedding day. Throw in perfectly classic details and boys in their military uniforms, and you’ve got the recipe for one sweet Southern soirée!

With Memorial Day right around the corner, we’re so honored to share this wedding made up of just a few of the brave men and women who protect and serve our great country. Big hugs to our friend Robyn for sharing it with us!

Girls after my own heart! I spy a few pairs of Jack Rogers to go with their monogrammed robes!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? One of our dearest friends and groomsmen read Revelation 19:5-9 right before they opened the doors and I walked down the aisle with my dad. Our other sweet friend read Ephesians 4:32-5:2 later in the service. Both the scriptures and the readers made our ceremony very special, and we couldn’t have loved it more. Our pastor, Russ Andrews, did an amazing job of keeping our ceremony focused on Jesus Christ. Russ gave a small sermon to make sure our families and friends knew Will and I weren’t taking any credit for finding each other, and that our marriage was going to be based on our faith in the Lord.

Describe your wedding flowers. Our florist was Kelly Odom, and his work is absolutely flawless. I told him my colors and asked for white and very pale pink flowers. I told him as long as the bouquets were round and full with those colors, he could choose the rest. The flowers were breathtaking and exactly what I wanted.

Since Will is in the military as a Navy pilot, we had all military attendees wear their military uniforms, and we had a sword arch out of the church, announcing Will and I as husband and wife for the first time. We had a pretty large wedding party with eight bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, and eight flower girls/ring bearers. We served lots of Southern food at our reception, including shrimp and grits, chicken tenders, and BBQ sandwich sliders. The most important thing to both Will and I are our families and friends, which I like to think comes from us being from the South. We could not have been happier having all the people we love the most under one roof, dancing the night away.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Will and I decided that we wanted that moment of seeing each other for the first time to be when I was walking down the aisle to him to become his wife. There is something so special and amazing about seeing each other in that moment after a long day of preparation and chaos, and knowing that your future starts right there.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Will and I knew we wanted to get married in a church, but my parents’ church was in transition and was meeting at my old high school auditorium at the time. I knew there was absolutely no way Will would get married at his rival high school, so that was out. Will’s family are members at Edenton Street United Methodist church in downtown Raleigh, and once I walked into the empty sanctuary with the gorgeous chandeliers, tall ceilings, and stained glass everywhere, I knew that was it. I had been to a service there before, but seeing it empty and imagining our wedding there was perfect. The reception venue was the Carolina Country Club, where I grew up going with my family. We had made so many memories there in the past that it seemed fitting to make one of our biggest memories there as well.

LOVE Caroline’s face in this shot!!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge during our ten months of engagement was planning our wedding while I was in North Carolina and Will was in Texas. We were both in school, and trying to find time to plan was a little harder then we had expected.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The church where we got married has an amazing organ with the most talented organist. He helped me choose the music for the seating of the guests, grandmothers and mothers. I didn’t really have a preference on those songs as long as it was played by him. I walked down the aisle to “Love Never Fails.” When I first listened to the words of this song, I got chills everywhere. It seemed so appropriate for a bride walking to her groom to be bound in love through Jesus Christ. Our first dance song wasn’t really up for discussion because we both knew what it would be. Coming from oldies-loving families, we decided on “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. It was perfect.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It’s hard to choose a most memorable moment, but Will and I think it was the dancing and gathering of our friends. Being a part of the military, most of our friends are spread out all over the country or deployed overseas. Getting to see everyone at the same time is very rare, and even though we still had some dear friends missing, sharing our wedding with those who could make it was so special. Our military friends have no problem starting the dance party!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Will and I met our senior year in high school in 2007. My best friend was dating his best friend, and after being introduced by them one night, I decided he wasn’t going to get away. Will played soccer for his school, and for the last few games of the season, I made sure I was at every one. I don’t think it took Will too long to notice, so he asked me if we could hang out after school one day so I could give him a haircut…very smooth of him. That afternoon led to more after-school get-togethers, movie nights with our friends, and both of our senior proms. After high school, Will was going to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland while I was staying at Meredith College in our hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. We knew this was going to mean a lot of long distance and an unknown future, but being without each other would be harder then any of that. We decided to give it a chance. From June-August while he was at boot camp, all we could do was write letters to stay in contact, and that’s exactly what we did. It was a hard summer for both of us but we know it made us so much stronger in the end.
Tell us all about the proposal! Will was in flight school to become an F-18 pilot in Kingsville, Texas at the time. We had been doing long distance for about five years at this point. During my fall break from school in October 2012, I flew to Texas. There isn’t a whole lot to do in the small town of Kingsville, so we drove to Fredericksburg, a little German town with vineyards everywhere. Neither Will nor I had ever been to a vineyard, so that Saturday, we had the best time doing tours and wine tastings. After we were ready to go to dinner, Will started driving up a hill, the opposite direction from town. He kept telling me he just wanted to see if we could see the sunset from the top, and of course, I was fine with that. As we drove to the top, all we could see were construction signs and tape and we couldn’t drive any further. Thinking about it now, I know Will’s stomach must have dropped because he didn’t really have a plan B. He had also taken the ring out of the box and placed it by itself in his pocket, so we drove on to dinner and Will spent the whole night clenching his right jean pocket! That night, we got back to our place, and as we stood on the porch about to walk inside, Will pulled me close and began to tell me how much he loved me and some other things I can’t remember, because he got down on one knee and I’m pretty sure I blacked out. Once I caught my breath, I had to ask him if I had even told him yes–I was so shocked and so overwhelmed with joy and love! I had been waiting for this moment for five long years and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
When did y’all get married? August 24, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 350
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my dress was probably the thing I was looking forward to the most during wedding planning. My mom and my aunt drove with me to Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I am in love with any kind of shopping, so we prepared ourselves for what we thought was going to be a full day of me trying on every dress in the store. As I was looking through the racks, one dress in particular caught my eye. I had to try it on and I wanted it to be the first one. I had never understood why girls cry when they try on wedding dresses or find the dress of their dreams, but I became that girl that day. I saw myself in the mirror and it was so surreal. It was the exact dress I had pictured myself in and I knew Will was going to love it too. I tried on a few more dresses to see if any compared, but none did.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Will and I were very excited about the wedding cake! Cinda’s Creative Cakes gave us amazing cake design and flavor options. Our cake was four tiers high and round. Cinda copied the look of the beaded band around my wedding dress on each tier on the cake, and used all white frosting and flowers on the top tier. The end result was beautiful and absolutely delicious. The flavors we chose were strawberry, funfetti (with pink sprinkles), chocolate, and cinnamon swirl. We can’t wait until our anniversary so we can eat it all over again!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Having the sword arch as a part of our wedding was probably my favorite detail. I have seen it done at many other military weddings, but seeing it from the bride’s view walking out with her new husband is indescribable.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We couldn’t have been happier with our pictures taken by Robyn Van Dyke and her husband Jordan. Because of their amazing talent, we will never forget one detail of our special day. The other vendor that played a huge part in our wedding day was our band, Black & Blue. My parents had heard them for the first time at a friend’s wedding a year before, and she knew right away that we would love them too. To say we had a dance party is an understatement. Will and I still talk about how much fun we had and how we wish we could have our reception all over again!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Always remember the real reason you are having the wedding. Planning a wedding can be stressful, even when you think it’s going to be a breeze, so don’t let the little things cause issues in your relationships. Enjoy every second because it goes by so fast, including the planning!!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are stationed in Virginia Beach for now. It is going to be a huge change for me because I have never left Raleigh or my family, but after six years of distance, I would have gone anywhere to finally start our lives together. We have waited so long for this and could not feel more blessed to be close to home and finally have each other in the same time zone!

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke / Ceremony Venue: Edenton Street United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: Carolina Country Club / Florist: Kelly Odom / Cake Baker: Cinda’s Creative Cakes / Band: Black & Blue / Bride’s Gown: “Mackenzie” by Amsale / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Images by Denise / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Groomsmen’s Suits: and Suits by Mantoni from Ticknors

Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    What a beautiful couple!! All of the military traditions they included are so special–loved reading about her going through the sword arch from a bride’s point of view!

  2. avatar featured: southern weddings » Robyn Van Dyke Photography Blog reply

    […] happy day, y’all! It’s always such an incredible honor to be featured on Southern Weddings, and we’re soo excited to have Caroline & Will‘s gorgeous military wedding featured […]

  3. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    “Russ gave a small sermon to make sure our families and friends knew Will and I weren’t taking any credit for finding each other, and that our marriage was going to be based on our faith in the Lord.” – I love that! I think basing your marriage on Christ from the very beginning is a beautiful and hugely important thing.

    Also, using a sword to cut the cake? Epic.

  4. avatar Julianne Bussey reply

    This whole article is flawless! I love every part of the wedding from the scripture readings and prayers to the sword arch! I love that you really tried to keep it focused around Jesus Christ :) What’s funny is that I live in Virginia Beach and totally didn’t expect to see that you are stationed here!

  5. avatar The Sweetest Father-Daughter Wedding Moments – Wedding Party reply

    […] Robyn van Dyke via Southern Weddings […]

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Y’all know I’m a sucker for adorable pups, so add in cameos on paper goods, and a Krispy Kreme groom’s cake — the details of Alison + Andrews make my heart sing! Beyond the sweet details, though, A + A’s “less is more” outlook on wedding planning reminds us what to focus on what is most important to us. “
Don’t lose sight in what you are planning. It’s not just a wedding, this is your marriage.”

Thanks to Happy Everything Co. for sharing this refreshing day with us!

Even though it was a lot of hard work, I loved that we did almost everything ourselves. (Obviously with a lot of help from our amazing family and friends.) My sister and I designed and printed the invitations at home, Andrew built several pieces at the wedding, inluding the dance floor, the wine bar, and the barn door cake table. The wedding programs were DIY. We wanted to make sure our wedding had our own personal touches.

Describe your wedding flowers. 
I am a sucker for hydrangeas. They remind me of my grandmother, so I knew I wanted them to be my main flower. I had white hydrangeas with brunia berries for my bouquet and blue hydrangeas with thistle for the girls. The guys had a coordinating berry for their boutonnieres.

This little guy cannot get any cuter! Suspenders AND a bow tie? Yes, please! And yes, Andrew, you look pretty dapper yourself!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? 
We did decide to do a first look. We agreed it would help take a lot of pressure off of both of us, and help relieve some stress to have a few moments alone together before the ceremony. We were both so glad we did. This also helped us get to the reception a lot quicker to celebrate with our guests.

Andrew and I decided to have mostly hymns during the ceremony. We played “Amazing Grace,” “Come Thou Fount,” “It Is Well,” and “Jesus Paid It All.” I came down the aisle to “Be Thou My Vision.” Our first dance was “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” played by an acoustic band for a little more of a soft, romantic version.

Our getaway car was also a hit. It was a 1931 Model A Ford that belongs to Andrew’s grandfather. We had hayrides to transport guests from the ceremony to the reception and served the yummiest BBQ in town to ensure our guests go home with a satisfied tummy full of Southern comfort food!

Heavens, I want to smooch this pup’s adorable face!

Andrew’s mother, Kayleen, and I baked the wedding cake! When I first found out how pricey wedding cakes can get, my first thought was, “How hard can it be to bake a wedding cake?” Andrew actually helped me bake the first practice round. In all, I think we had about three practice rounds. One was actually for one of our wedding showers! I must say it was probably one of the more fun parts of planning. The looks were far from perfect, but I like the homemade look. It went with our homemade, backyard, DIY wedding. We chose a very simple sour cream pound cake recipe with a cream cheese icing. I cannot tell you how many people told us it was the best wedding cake they have ever tasted! It tickled me to pieces! The groom’s cake was a mountain of Krispy Kreme donuts. Andrew loves the outdoors. He and his brothers and buddies always go out west at least once a year to camp and hike. He is also a huge Lego fan. Thus, we had a mountain of donuts, the Mr. & Mrs. Lego couple cake topper complete with the Moosejaw flag, and powdered sugar for “snow.”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
Andrew and I met through a mutual friend at a Georgia-Florida football game. We were both seeing other people at the time, but ended up reconnecting for next year’s game. I was not able to attend the game the next year, but after getting back in touch with each other a year later, we decided we wanted to get to know each other a little more. Living about an hour apart from each other, Andrew spontaneously decided he would surprise me one Saturday to take me on our first date. With only an hour notice, I rushed to get ready and plan our first date: pizza, beer, and a Wounded Soldiers benefit concert in a horse arena.
Tell us all about the proposal! 
Andrew’s family lives on a hundred-acre farm on Lake Oconee. One of our favorite getaways has always been riding horses around the property. One early Sunday morning, he told me to be at the farm at 9am sharp for an early morning ride. We started out on our typical route, and ended up in one of our favorite pastures where we had talked about getting married. Andrew helped me off the horse, and in front of a giant oak tree, got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage.

When did y’all get married? 
May 18, 2013

How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 
150

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
I found my dress at a sample sale at Bride Beautiful in Roswell. I had actually already purchased a dress in December, but a month before the wedding decided it just wasn’t the one. Luckily I had registered with theknot.com and they sent me an email advertising the sample sale and I jumped on it! I was so happy to have found THE dress at such short notice.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Andrew and I decided to have mostly hymns during the ceremony. We played “Amazing Grace,” “Come Thou Fount,” “It Is Well,” and “Jesus Paid It All.” I came down the aisle to “Be Thou My Vision.” Our first dance was “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” played by an acoustic band for a little more of a soft, romantic version.

Did you have something borrowed, something blue, and something new? My something borrowed was my sister’s veil, my something blue were my shoes that my sister painted. My something old was the garter that my grandmother made for my mother. My sister also wore it for her wedding. My something new was my dress.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
I absolutely adored our mason jar sugar cookie favors — an idea we found in the Southern Weddings magazine! I found a picture of them in my very first wedding magazine and fell in love. My cousin made them for us, and they were such a hit!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The financial aspect of planning a wedding is always difficult. Andrew and I wanted to do everything as affordable as possible. Less is more for us. However, there will always be the little expenses you don’t plan for that add up quickly. Since we did do a lot of it ourselves, time was of the essence.

What range did your wedding budget fall into? 
Less than $10,000

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
Our photographer! I knew that after all was said and done, the only thing left would be our pictures. They make me giddy every time I look at them.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
I remember pretty much every detail of the whole day, but our first look stands out the most. We were both so excited to see each other!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Don’t lose sight in what you are planning. It’s not just a wedding, this is your marriage. It is your lifelong commitment to another. Make it personal and a reflection of the two of you, but don’t get caught up in tiny details. At the end of the day, what matters most is your love and commitment to one another.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We hope to get in as much traveling as our schedules will allow. Who knows, maybe I’ll start baking wedding cakes on the side!

Photographer: Happy Everything Co. | Videographer: Friend of bride and groom | Planner: The bride | Ceremony Venue: Private venue, groom’s family home | Reception Venue: Private venue, groom’s family home | Florist: Z. Grant | Wedding Cake: The bride | Caterer: Georgia Butts BBQ | Rentals: Lake Oconee Rental | Lighting: Lake Oconee Rental | Band: Sage Hill | Bride’s Gown: Pronovias | Paper Products: All DIY | Bride’s Jewelry: Shane Co. | Hair Stylist: Friend of bride | Makeup Artist: Friend of bride | Bride’s Shoes: TOMS, hand painted by matron of honor | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jasmine Bridal, style B2078 | Groom’s Attire: Jos. A Bank | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Rayna {Rayna McGinnis Photography} reply

    WOW, I’m not a fan of pale colors but I really love the blue bridesmaid dresses.

    p.s. I also want to smooch the pup. What a handsome dog.

  2. avatar Jessica McCormick reply

    Hi there! This wedding is so me that it is sort of scary- My wedding is September 7th of this year and we are also DIY-ing A LOT! -I wanted to ask if you had any more information from the bride about making he rown dance floor? Would love to see pictures!! Thanks and as always I LOVE SW MAG!

  3. avatar Krisstin reply

    Love the silhouette invites and programs! Not to mention the cute dog!

  4. avatar Bouquet Trends for 2014 | Mine Forever reply

    […] Photo Credit: Happy Everything Co via Southern Weddings […]

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